I live near the CIA, so I got a special kick out of seeing our local dry cleaner featured in a brief scene in “Argo.” The building and sign haven’t changed since the 70’s, so it was a perfect touch of authenticity. It may look unprepossessing, but they note on their website that they do cleaning for “The White House, the Observatory (the Vice President’s House), Ford’s Theater, Blair House, the Kennedy Center, the CIA, the Department of Justice, and USA Today.” I asked director Ben Affleck about putting them in the movie. He said:
You know what? I just wanted to use this dry-cleaning, I needed some everyday sort of spot but I want it to be close to the CIA and they said we can use this place, but they won’t let us change the name. I said, “I don’t want to change the name, it’s perfect!” But I have never, in my entire life, gone to a location and had them say, like, because—you slap a sign on it, it’s not a big deal—absolutely has to be the McLean Cleaners. No, although I did like that it was the town, and anyone who knew would know that it was close to, it was showing that it was connected to the CIA but what could be more pedestrian than dry-cleaning?